At an art gallery, it is not every day that one gets to enforce the rules of PEMDAS.
But today was different.
Today, we dusted off PEMDAS, the Order of Operation’s pre-algebraic mnemonic for ‘Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract,’ to create our latest collection, The Best Of: Tiny Paintings.
In the grand pursuit of small scale, we had to first look to those fact-packed parentheses that contain the painting’s dimensions. The result was our mighty collection of small scale works.
Perhaps the reason why they are so loved and so lovable is not because of their smaller size, but because they are the least common denominator of artistic truth. Whether beauty, or mystery, or narrative, or elegance, or drama, these small-framed works capture these big ideas. So, as surface area approaches a minimum, the canvas’ limits do not exist.
Here are (2 x 2) big hits from our collection, the Best Of: Tiny Paintings:
J. Concetta’s New Blue Hair is a highly populated painting. The small canvas is bursting at the seams with a rainbow flash of fantastical and scaly creatures. As the figures rush across the dark black background in every direction, Concetta uses color to give each one a quirky and charming character.
In the celestial landscape painting, Sensual Fusion 5, Alexandra Babic distills a vast vista into a small space. The light peachy tones juxtaposed with the darker navy tones creates a heavenly tension. The dimpled clouds that fill the sky’s breadth subtly fulfil the titled-promise of sensuality.
Shaggy Cat is a whimsical and expressive cat portrait. Despite the small scale canvas and limited color palette, Roller’s cat has the sly, feline personality of any household cat. The black expanse of the long-haired cat’s body creates a playful contrast with the bright colors of the hot pink background and lime green nose.
This tiny painting is magnificently mighty. Williams renders the majestic, side-profile portrait of the Great Horned Owl with ornithological precision and a keen attention to detail. The species, which is also called the Tiger Owl, brings a knowing and determined ferocity through the determined gravitas in its gaze.
Whether a nook’s small surprise or a wall’s collection of little stills, these tiny paintings will bring boundless joy in their small bundles. Each work reminds us that even as paintings scale down, their impact does not.